Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - Breeding question??

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:26 pm

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Breeding question??
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:33 pm 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Central Coast NSW
Hello all. Sorry if this is in the wrong section. for the last few months I've been breeding my Muscovy ducks. But I'm getting a very poor success rate (average about 3 from 15) and am getting a lot that are pretty much fully developed but then the eggs are going black around close to the end of the 35 days then obviously not hatching. I have tried them in 3 different incubators and nothing seams to work.

So my question is why is this happening? could it be there diet?? They mostly run around with my chooks so the eat layer pellets, scratch mix, kitchen scraps and they free range pretty much all day. So they get a wide variety of food to eat.

Any info would be great :thumbs:
Cheers


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Breeding question??
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:42 pm 
Offline
Phoenix
Phoenix
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 10:32 pm
Posts: 9087
Location: In Transit
This is why you dont hatch muscovy eggs in an incubator this is very common.
We have an E2 if I have thrown some eggs in with the chook eggs they go on the bottom where it is not that hot.
You are better off letting the ducks hatch them themselves.
You can play around with diet will make no real difference.
If you want to perserve with the incubators then drop the temperature a bit another thing that research has said is take the eggs out for 10 minutes or what ever and let them cool at bit this from memory is from about week 27.
My incubator turns eggs every 4 hours and my hatches are probably at times no better than yours.
Starting them under a duck and then putting them in a incubator after a few weeks gets better results as well.
Still air incubators are better on duck eggs.

And yes there will be people who say they have fantastic hatches in their incubators but my thought is if mother duck can bring out 20 plus in one go and the incubator is struggling to get out 10 then mother duck wins :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Breeding question??
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:41 am 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Central Coast NSW
Thanks for the reply. Think I'll start taking the tray of eggs out to give them an air everyday. I think that way is abit easier than organizing a duck or chicken to go broody at a specific time haha.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Breeding question??
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:32 pm 
Offline
Fiesty Fowl
Fiesty Fowl
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:32 am
Posts: 1101
Location: Sunshine Coast qld
sounds just like our first attempts at using an incubator.
we've finished hatching for this year, 101 ducklings of various breeds hatched, only 2 failed to pip.
takes some time to fully understand the eggs requirements and the incubating process.
after 3 bators and still a poor outcome we'll suggest you haven't got your procudure right.

how big or small is the air sac in the ones that did hatch? and how big is it in the ones that did not hatch?
are you using a fan forced or still air machine? and what humidity are you running?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Breeding question??
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:26 pm 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Central Coast NSW
The air sacks of both seam pretty big approximately the size that they should be.

All incubators are fan forced, a hovibator auto turn, a greatlander cabinet one. And also a hexibator manual turn which has had the best results.

Humidity wise is approx 55% then raised up a little for hatching and sitting at 37.7 degrees

I have been doing chicken eggs in the cabinet the same time as the ducks and am getting about 80% which I'm content with.

Thanks :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Breeding question??
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:44 pm 
Offline
Fiesty Fowl
Fiesty Fowl
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:32 am
Posts: 1101
Location: Sunshine Coast qld
we run our bator at 75-80%humidity from day one.
condensation on viewing windows all the time and water balls running down the sides of the machine

in our earlier attempts we ran similar settings to you.we havent tried a still air bator, but i suspect 50-60% humidity in a still air machine may get reasonable results. I also suspect moving air can remove a greater amount of moisture from the egg in a given time than a still air unit run at the same settings. so to compensate we maxed out the humidity. We also went through a couple of machines and hundreds of eggs with poor results before deciding to run such a high humidity, this got us upto around a hatch rate of 80%.
then we tried something else to try and improve the hatch rate even further. Most auto and semi auto turn bators hold the egg upright and move 45 degrees either side of verticle giving you 90 degrees of movement. this to me seems like an unatural possition for the egg to be kept in for any amount of time, so out came the auto turn and we went old school and manually turned twice a day and kept the eggs laying horizontal. this hatched us 101 from 103 duck eggs and 19 from 19 goose eggs
document what you do and when, what the machines are set on and the temp and humidity. then if results arent as required change one variable at a time, eventually by trial and error,and a little bit of thought, you'll find a procedure that gives you satisfying results.

the above information may not improve your results, and is slightly different to the settings some others we know are using and they're also getting respectable results. i believe suggestted settings from text books and manufactors arent much more than ball park base settings and should only be used as a starting piont, from there it really is a matter of working out what works for you

stick with it, and best of luck


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Breeding question??
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:10 pm 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:15 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Central Coast NSW
That's great, thank you for all the info I have a dozen with abit over a week to go now so I will chuck them in the hexibator and max out the humidity and see how I go.

Time to note down everything I'm doing and start changing.

Thanks once again


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Breeding question??
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:30 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:34 pm
Posts: 307
Location: SEQ
Hello Errol

Greg (Clucks & Ducks) is hatching ducks in his 2 Greatlanders, as we do ourselves.
Greg however does a lot more than I do.
He's been tweaking his settings and is always willing to help.
He posts his details on another forum here: http://www.poultrymatters.com/viewtopic ... 4&start=60
.... I've copied his latest below.

[i]Hi Shayne,

We hatch a lot of ducklings, every week, in our Greatlander.

We have found the best temp for them to be 37.4, for us hatch rates decreased at both 37.3 & 37.5, but this will be trial & error in your incubator, as temp sensors do vary & it is very hard to find a calibrated thermometer to check the individual incubator's temperature acuracy.

We actually wait until day 26 to move the eggs into the hatching tray, as we are hatching around 5 breeds of duck. Every week we have the Saxony's & Blue Swedish hatch well before some of the others, with the Indian Runners last out around 1 - 2 days after the early hatchers.

Relative humidity is initially set at 70% when the eggs are put into the hatching basket, from there we slowly move it up to as high as our unit will get it. It is important to do this slowly until you learn what your unit will do, otherwise the water heating element will run flat out too for too long & raise the temperature within the cabinet. The best we get is around 83% RH, but many week it is more like 75 - 78 %, I think this is caused by the ambient huimidity levels, but for ducklings the higher the better.

To help the humidity we also tape a piece of paper over the exhaust fan outlet this is a big help in raising the humidity to a higher level. Bob recommends cutting the paper into a "fringed" piece so that the fan can still exhaust, but we dont do this. If left a solid piece of paper the humidity levels achieved will be higher and as long as the weather is not too hot all seems to work well for us. In really hot weather we leave the exhaust fan vent open.

The humudity levels are really importnt for ducklings - we started out hatching both chickens & ducklings in the same unit - at the same time - but to get a good hatch rate on one, the other would suffer, either the ducklings would struggle to get out or the chicks would drown in the shell. The 2nd unit we purchased has a smaller plastic water container (instead of the larger galvinised one in the original unit) and this smaller container is not able to give anywhere near the same humidity level (so we use this unit for the chicks).

It is also worth noting that the automatic water supply, ours is just gravity fed, will give a more stable humidity level. Apart from the fact that you need to open the door to fill up manually ( a BIG no no when hatching is taking place) adding water of a different temperature does affect the humidity level for a while, particually if it is cold water which then needs to be heated up by the element. With the float valve controlling water levels, the water is added as required at a very slow rate, this keeps the temperature of the water very stable. Make sure that the hatching basket is well clear of the float though, if it sits onto it it will hold the valve open (and cause a flood!)

Hope this helps.

Greg
[/i]

_________________
bobpeel@greatlander.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Breeding question??
PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:58 am 
Offline
Proud Rooster
Proud Rooster
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:34 pm
Posts: 307
Location: SEQ
Hello again

For the initial 25 days of incubation, I treat duck eggs as I do all our others - in my present Greatlander this is 37.5 degrees and 55% with the cut out/in for humidity set at 56% and 52%. The default cut out/in are too wide so I tighten these up. On day 26 I move duck eggs to a hexabator. I block the weep holes and fill it to 1/2" below the mesh with water at body-temperature. I have a wireless temp/hygro in there and the RH sits at about 85% ,never lower than 80%. Temp at 37.3. Our ducklings just fall out.

I used to get some `black' eggs like the ones Errol Glennroy described. I put it down to bacterial attack - Duck eggs are often filthy.
As soon as I collect them in the morning, I now give the eggs a quick sponge wash with Vicron or bleach at 1% will do.
Then I run the the UV sanitiser religously every morning for 1/2 hour.

Hope this helps
Bob
Greatlander

_________________
bobpeel@greatlander.com.au


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
©2004-2014 Backyardpoultry.com. Content rights reserved
freestone